According to a CIMB research report, the Mazda CX-3 is expected to launch in Malaysia in July, to rival the Honda HR-V, Ford EcoSport and Peugeot 2008. This is earlier than the end-2015 timeframe previously indicated by RHB Research.

The report says that initially, only the CBU 2.0 litre variant will be brought in, and that it’s expected to be priced under RM130k. By way of comparison, the top-spec Honda HR-V is estimated to cost around RM120k, while the Ford EcoSport and Peugeot 2008 are priced at RM93k-104k and RM120k respectively. The report adds that Malaysia is the only ASEAN country that has been given the rights to distribute the CX-3 so far.

Unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Mazda 2-based high-rider is expected to launch in Japan in March. Confirmed engines include a 1.5 litre SkyActiv-D diesel and a 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol, mated to either six-speed manual or SkyActiv-Drive auto ‘boxes. Front- and all-wheel drive versions will be available.

Excited yet? In the meanwhile, check out the detailed image gallery below.